IELTS Writing Test 2021: Learn About IELTS Writing Test Format, Preparation, Sample Questions & More

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Yocket Editorial Team

Updated on Oct 11, 2021

Exams Know-how | 8 min read
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Any English language proficiency test isn’t incomplete without assessing your writing skills. Hence, IELTS is no different. A good IELTS Writing test score successfully showcases your ability to write in English. Universities, organizations, recruiters, etc look up to this score to ensure that you’re the right fit for their institution. Understanding how crucial it is for you to get a good IELTS Writing score, we have compiled all you would need to know for your IELTS Writing preparation.

What is in the IELTS Writing Test?

The Writing section assesses a wide range of skills such as your ability to understand the textual as well as visual information presented to you, grammatical accuracy, fluency of language, vocabulary  and clarity of thought. It is one amongst the four sections of the IELTS exam that you are evaluated on as an aspirant. The other three sections are Listening, Speaking, and Reading.

The IELTS Writing section tests your ability to comprehend clearly the information presented to you. It requires you to express objectively by means of effective words your understanding of issues and concepts. Your expertise to make use of cohesion is tested.

A Sneak Peek into the IELTS Writing Section

Duration

60 minutes

No of questions

2

Mode of examination

Online or on paper

Scoring

Whole & half-bands 

Ever felt confused between IELTS and TOEFL? Find out the difference in between TOEFL and IELTS here!

The IELTS Writing Test comprises two distinct parts (the Academic Test and the General Training Test) that need to be attempted in 60 minutes each of the IELTS Writing time. However, as a student aspiring to study abroad you are required to take the IELTS Academic Test. Let’s discuss the IELTS Academic Writing test in detail -

IELTS Writing pattern: What is the IELTS Academic Writing paper like? 

In the IELTS writing test, you are required to compose two well-written essays. Each of the essays differs from the other in style, structure, and writing. 

IELTS Academic Writing task 1

You are given a diagram, chart, stat, graph or situation etc. You’re expected to write a description of the given picture/graphic in about 150 words. 

For example, the IELTS Writing task 1 can be seen in the image below. You are supposed to explain/describe the image in your own words. You can write up to 150 words for this task. 

IELTS Academic Writing task 2

 In this task, you have to write 250 words about any specific topic given to you. In addition to the topic, you will be presented with additional information, views or pointers you need to throw light on. 

  • For IELTS Writing task 2, follow the directions provided to you. Then, jot down your points, arguments and views on the particular topic for the essay. Organize your thoughts before you begin writing. 

Here’s an example for the IELTS Writing task 2: Compose a 250-word essay on today’s healthcare system in your country. 

  • Talk about the gaps, improvements and technologies you might have noticed in recent times. 

IMPORTANT!

Writing task 2 weighs two times more than Writing task 1. 

Therefore, manage and allot your time based on the number of words you need to write for a particular task. Spend 20-25 minutes on your IELTS Writing task 1 and leave the other 30-35 minutes for the other. Also, use an extra 5 minutes to glance through your answers and correct errors.

Let us understand how is the Writing section of IELTS Academic test scored -

How is the IELTS Writing Section Scored? 

Certified IELTS examiner assesses your essays for a total band score of 9, with whole and half band scores. Note that task 2 has more weightage than task 1. 

Examiners are required to give detailed insights on the below parameters-

1.Task achievement

2.Coherence and cohesion

3.Lexical resource

4.Grammatical range and accuracy

With detailed descriptions of the four parameters, you are scored on a 9 band score. Scores above 7 are considered as a good IELTS Writing score to achieve. 

Now that you have an understanding of two types of tasks and the scoring pattern of the IELTS Writing test, it is important to delve into a practical preparation approach so that you’re able to answer all the questions and arrive at a good score -

IELTS Writing Tips: How to improve your IELTS Writing Score? 

The IELTS Writing section is the most challenging section of the test for most test-takers. Many English speakers lose track of time or fudge their essay by messing up with words, sentence structures or even spellings. However, here are some tips that will help you work on your IELTS writing skills: 

  • Practice writing short meaningful sentences. 

  • Read books and newspapers often.

  • Practice writing at least 7-10 essays before taking the IELTS Writing test.

  • Work on your spelling and grammar. 

  • Depending on the type of test you’re taking, write or type and time yourself. 

  • Develop a sense of an approximation to understand how many words have been written. 

  • Use Yocket Flashcards to enhance your vocabulary. 

  • Brush up on a few idioms, verbs and adjectives you can use in your essay.

  • Read up on current affairs and general topics to be able to support your views with facts. 

Sample topics to prepare for IELTS Writing

  • Censorship

  • Health and education

  • Having one language in the World

  • Paper books vs E-books

  • development of infrastructure 

  • culture and travel

  • Work crisis

  • Global warming

  • Investments

  • Start-ups and their culture

  • Covid Crisis 

  • Health care in the time of Covid

To improve IELTS Writing as one of the sections that will get you closer to your dream score, work hard and prepare smartly. This test, along with the Reading, Listening and Speaking sections is your gateway to a good university abroad. 

All the best for IELTS Writing 2021!

Commonly Asked Questions About IELTS Writing Exam

Q. Is the marking and assessment of the IELTS General writing task 1 same as that of Academic writing?

A. Yes, the marking and assessment of IELTS General writing task 1 is the same as that of IELTS Academic writing task 1. The difference lies in the purpose of the exams. The former evaluates working professionals while the latter tests students.

Q. Are the number of questions in the IELTS General writing task 2 same as that of Academic writing?

A. Yes, the number of questions in the IELTS General writing task 2 are the same as that of Academic writing task 2 i.e., one question with multiple metrics for testing.

Q. In what way is the IELTS Academic test different from the IELTS General Writing test?

A. IELTS Academic Writing tests your ability to comprehend a diagram and present your answer. IELTS General Writing on the other hand tests your ability to write a letter.